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Privacy Policy


1. Introduction

Herbert Smith Freehills ("HSF") is an international legal practice. We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of information provided to us and information about visitors to our websites. HSF is the data controller of any personal information provided to us when you use our services as set out in section 2 below.

This Privacy Policy explains how we may collect and use information that we obtain about you, and your rights in relation to that information. Your use of our online services or your provision of information to us constitutes your acknowledgment of the terms of this Privacy Policy. Please do not send us any of your information if you do not want it to be used in the ways described in this Privacy Policy. 

Our contact details are set out at section 13 below. 

2. Scope of privacy policy

This Privacy Policy applies to your use of any of our services, including: 

  • when you request information from us; 
  • when you engage our legal and other services; 
  • as a result of your relationship with one or more of our clients; 
  • where you apply for a job or work placement; and
  • your use of our websites (including our associated sites) and online services (including our mobile apps).

3. Information collection


We will collect personal information directly from you, from our clients or their counterparties and authorised representatives.  

We may also collect personal information from third parties such as regulatory authorities, your employer, other organisations with whom you have dealings, government agencies, credit reporting agencies, recruitment agencies, information or service providers, publicly available records and the third parties described in section 5: ‘Disclosure of your information’ below.

We may collect current and historical personal information including your name, contact details, identification, organisation, employment, positions held and enquiry/complaint details. We may also collect personal information about your other dealings with us and our clients, including any contact we have with you in person, by telephone, email or online.

Online Services

When you use our online services, we may collect the following:

  • information you provide by completing subscription, registration and application forms (including when you  submit  material or request further services);
  • information you provide to us if you contact us, for example to report a problem with our online services or raise a query or comment; and
  • details of visits made to our online services such as the volume of traffic received, logs (including, the internet protocol (IP) address and location of the device connecting to the online services and other identifiers about the device and the nature of the visit) and the resources accessed.

Careers and Recruitment

If you apply for a job or work placement you may need to provide information about your education, employment, racial background and state of health.  Your application will constitute your express consent to our use of this information to assess your application and to allow us to carry out both recruitment analytics and any monitoring activities which may be required of us under applicable law as an employer. We may also carry out screening checks (including reference, background, directorship, financial probity, identity, eligibility to work, vocational suitability and criminal record checks) and consider you for other positions. We may disclose your personal information (including diversity and equal opportunities data) to academic institutions, recruiters, screening check providers, health service providers, professional and trade associations, law enforcement agencies, recruitment analytics and diversity research providers, referees and your current and previous employers. We may also collect your personal information from these parties in some circumstances. Without your personal information we may not be able to progress considering you for positions with us.

If you apply for a job or work placement using our on-line application system, you will access a separate privacy policy which explains how your information will be used, how long we will retain it and to whom it may be disclosed.


If you are a former employee and wish to join our alumni programme we will collect personal information such as your email address, information about your current employment and basic details of your time with us. You will have the option to provide more personal information such as information about your professional qualifications and information about your preferences and engagement with the programme. Visit to access the Alumni Hub including your profile information if applicable, and see our Alumni Network Terms.


Our offices are protected by CCTV and you may be recorded when you visit. We use CCTV to help provide a safe and secure environment for our visitors. Further information can be found in our CCTV Privacy Policy.

4. Use of your information

We may use your personal information if:

  • it is necessary for the performance of a contract with you; or
  • necessary in connection with a legal or regulatory obligation; or
  • you have provided your consent to such use; or
  • we consider such use of your information as not detrimental to you, within your reasonable expectations, having a minimal impact on your privacy, and necessary to fulfil our legitimate interests; or
  • we are otherwise required or authorised by law. 

We use your information to:

  • provide and improve our services and products to you (including auditing and monitoring use of those services and products);
  • maintain and develop our relationship with you;
  • monitor and analyse our business;
  • facilitate our internal business operations;
  • fulfil our legal requirements (including in relation to anti-money laundering) and professional obligations;
  • send you marketing (please see section 11 for more information);
  • establish, exercise or defend legal rights.

We may not be able to do these things without your personal information. 

We will only retain your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances. Personal information provided in connection with the provision of our legal services will be retained for no longer than fifteen years unless we agree otherwise with you. Our online services may have different retention periods which you will be notified of separately when you access those services.

5. Disclosure of your information

We may share your information with third parties including:

  • our clients, your professional advisers and your employers or place of business; 
  • third parties involved in the provisions of services to clients including barristers, local counsel and other professional advisers;
  • our professional advisers, auditors and insurers;
  • third party service providers to whom we outsource services, for example archival, auditing, reference checking, professional advisory (including legal, accounting, financial and business consulting), IT support, mailing house, delivery, technology, website, social media, research, banking, payment, client contact, data processing, insurance, forensic, litigation support, data room, marketing and security services;
  • third parties with whom we have co-promotional arrangements (such as jointly sponsored events);
  • third parties who carry out research and analyses of our services and products on our behalf;
  • regulatory authorities, courts, tribunals, government agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

6. Sharing information across our global network

We may share your information with HSF offices, branches, subsidiaries and associated firms around the world (please see section 13 below for a link to the geographical locations of our offices), and our service providers. If, in the future, we re-organise or transfer all or part of our business, we may need to transfer your information to new entities or third parties through which our business will be carried out.

Please be aware that your personal information may be accessed by third parties and by our HSF offices from countries whose laws provide various levels of protection for personal data which are not always equivalent to the level of protection that may be provided in your own country. Where we transfer your information internationally we will take reasonable steps to ensure that your information is treated securely and the means of transfer provides adequate safeguards.

If you have any questions in relation to the transfer of your personal information please contact us at [email protected].

7. Security

We take reasonable steps to hold information securely in electronic or physical form and to prevent unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our information security policy is supported by a number of security standards, processes and procedures and we store information in access controlled premises or in electronic databases requiring logins and passwords. We require our third party data storage providers to comply with appropriate information security industry standards. All partners and staff and third party providers with access to confidential information are subject to confidentiality obligations.

The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. We cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our online services; any transmission is at your own risk.

8. Cookies

We use cookies on our online services. Please see our Cookie Policy for details.

9. Third party sites

Our websites contain links to other sites which are controlled by third parties. 

Visitors should consult these other sites' privacy policies and please be aware that we do not accept responsibility for their use of information about you.

10. Your rights

The privacy laws of some jurisdictions give individuals the right to access, amend or delete their personal information or, in some circumstances, to restrict or object to the processing of their personal information. 

If you would like to request a copy of your data, or would like to take steps to exercise your rights please contact us as set out below.  We may refuse to provide access and may charge a fee for access if the relevant legislation allows us to do so, in which case we will provide reasons for our decision as required by law. 

Information we hold about you should be up-to-date and accurate. Please advise us of any changes to your information using the contact details set out in section 13 below.

11. If you do not want to receive marketing information from us 

If you receive marketing materials relating to our services by email or post, you may withdraw your consent for us to send these to you at any time, by using the “unsubscribe” option included in the email or other material. Alternatively, you can let us know your preferences by sending an email to [email protected]

12. Status of this Policy

We review this Privacy Policy regularly and reserve the right to revise it or any part of it from time to time to reflect changes in the law or technology practices. It is your responsibility to review the amended Privacy Policy. 

13. Contact and further information

To find out more about HSF entities, please visit

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, or want to submit a written complaint to us about how we handle your personal information, please contact us at:

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Exchange House
Primrose Street

Attention: Clare Wilson

Telephone: +44 20 7374 8000

Email: [email protected] 

Or call your local HSF office.

You may also have the right to submit a complaint to the relevant supervisory authority in your jurisdiction.

If you make a privacy complaint, we will respond to let you know how your complaint will be handled. We may ask you for further details, consult with other parties and keep records regarding your complaint.

Last updated: May 2018.